Breaking Bread With Broken Rice: “Quiche Nha Trang”

Chà com tâm is a cold “pie” made with broken rice, cucumber and eggs – this version tastes also of mushrooms and salty fish sauce, adorned with red chillies.

It’s like quiche Lorraine … shall we call it “Quiche Nha Trang”?

On the topic of “broken rice”, one evening I chatted to an American in the Muster Bar in Vung Tau who was building a factory on the Mekong River, in partnership with a local, to export “broken rice”.

There’s big bickies to be made in the non-perfect rice grain trade …

Chà com tâm is a quiche-like Vietnamese dish made of “broken rice” (ie non-perfect grains) mashed with eggs, cucumber and other ingredients

A Quiet Time in Nha Trang’s Riverside

Simply a nice pic of the quiet, shady, placid streets in Nha Trang’s Riverside residential area.

Only a half-hour walk – but a far cry – from the hectic Beachside, constantly buzzing with a billion motorbikes, delivery vehicles and tourists.

It would be fair to think the Riverside area now is where the “smart money” is being invested …

A quiet, shady, placid street in the Riverside area of Nha Trang, on Vietnam’s popular coast

Coffee is Gold, in Vietnam

Nha Trang Riverside: Beautiful new mansions.

I’m guessing the owners might be coffee merchants?

In Vietnam today, coffee is “gold”; in the 19th Century Gold Rush, merchants selling supplies to the prospectors became the millionaires.

Here, start the day with a tin phin drip coffee, with ice and “sweet milk” …

Mid-Morning Munchies

Having the 10.30s. Between breakfast and the noon lunch/nap.

Perhaps South-East Asians know the benefits of keeping the tummy “topped up”.

I recall Tolkien referring to Hobbits enjoying “Elevenses”. And why not here in Nha Trang, Vietnam, when food like this is so simple, nutritious and delicious.

Street BBQ chicken with egg, rice and salad. 30k dong (less than AUD$2)

Throwing Out Shoes is a Big Deal for a Bloke

Goodbye to the Phu Quoc “Qrocs”.

They have served me so loyally, trekking through many a South-East Asian “wet” market, the Vietnam jungle between bars, over searing sands of beaches, in airports and on planes, and 2 years of Lockdown in St Kilda.

But the time has come to move on, so in the bin they go …

(Feel free to say something in Latin, at this point)

Tossing out well worn shoes …

Good Food at a Good Price

“When in Rome do … something different every day” That’s my take on it, anyway.

Lunch is Korean franchise ChickenPlus in Nha Trang, Vietnam: it is quite a feast, too, for 105k dong (AUD$6.50).

Fried chicken, french fries and a bottle of water; plus the salad bar at no extra cost.

Must “pass” on the steamed rice and buns today (the burgeoning waistline!!) but the corn, black seaweed (delicious, if you’ve not tried it?) and kimchi spruces up the regulation lettuce & tomato.

And who can say “no” to prawn crackers?

Lunching at a Korean chicken franchise, in Vietnam. Good food, at a good price.

Taking Time Out from the Local Food

Taking a break from the local Vietnamese food, brunch is the “Time House muffins”: 2 poached eggs and in-house pork mince patties on roasted-black-sesame seed buns.

Being one not fond of the usual bland “burger cheese”, this imported (New Zealand?) cheddar could arguably hold its own in a licensed fromagerie.

Potatoes sauteed with herbs, onion and crunchy Vietnamese garlic.

Plus fresh fruit: the local watermelon is sweet, and the dragon fruit (“it’s grown just south of here”) adds more than beautiful colour to the meal – the taste of this variety is worth writing home about.

200k (AUD$12.25) for 2 eggs and an extra strong iced coffee. Enough tor 2 people, half will go back to the hotel room fridge for later …

(Time House Auberge & Bistro, Nha Trang, Vietnam)

Time House Muffins: poached eggs, pork patties, cheddar cheese and sauteed potatoes with fresh fruit

Crunch Time When You Can’t Read the Menu

I wish I could read Vietnamese.

A prawn brunch: I order soft-shell prawns/shrimp fried in a caramelised garlic syrup.

Apologies to Chef but I can’t stand eating soft-shell anything.

Oh well, my fault, so I attack the prawns with alacrity and dexterity, and do my best to de-shell the sticky little critters – much to the amusement of the restaurant staff.

The meal is sweet and delicious; the hot, crunchy, “candied” tiny prawn legs have obvious appeal.

Travel is an adventure – and I only shelled out (yes, awful pun!) 186k dong/AUD$12

Vietnam brunch: soft shell prawns/shrimp fried in a caramelised garlic syrup